Although STAT5 promotes survival of hematopoietic progenitors, STAT5−/− mice develop mild neutrophilia.
Here, we show that in STAT5−/− mice, liver endothelial cells (LECs) autonomously secrete high amounts of G-CSF, allowing myeloid progenitors to overcompensate for their intrinsic survival defect. However, when injected with pro-inflammatory cytokines, mutant mice cannot further increase neutrophil production, display a severe deficiency in peripheral neutrophil survival, and are therefore unable to maintain neutrophil homeostasis. In wild-type mice, inflammatory stimulation induces rapid STAT5 degradation in LECs, G-CSF production by LECs and other cell types, and then sustained mobilization and expansion of long-lived neutrophils.
We conclude that STAT5 is an ambivalent factor. In cells of the granulocytic lineage, it exerts an antiapoptotic function that is required for maintenance of neutrophil homeostasis, especially during the inflammatory response. In LECs, STAT5 negatively regulates granulopoiesis by directly or indirectly repressing G-CSF expression. Removal of this STAT5-imposed brake contributes to induction of emergency granulopoiesis.